Nigeria is facing a 2.5million metirc tonnes of fish deficit, despite being the largest fish producer in Africa. Disclosing this in Lagos at the just concluded stockfish seminar organised by the Norwegian Seafood Council, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, said that the total fish production in Nigeria is about 1.123m metric tonnes while the annual consumption is about 3.6m metric tonnes.
Nanono also said that the total fish production including imports in Nigeria still does not satisfy the total fish demand. The volume of stockfish and stockfish heads imported from Norway in the country is only about 8,000 metric tonnes and this represents about 0.4% of the total volume of fish imported into Nigeria.
Additionally, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a dislocation of the seafood value chain globally, a development that has led to the loss of nutrients and necessary protein intakes as well as essential food needs and income.
The volume of stockfish and stockfish heads imported into from Norway into the country is only about 8,000metric tonnes and this represents about 0.4 percent of the total volume of fish imported into Nigeria.
While initiating policies and regulation, there is need to be aware of the reciprocity of trade amongst nation and the fact that the country can also involve their trading partners and friendly nations like Norway to assist them with their backward integration process into commercial aquaculture and for Nigeria’s processed aquaculture product to gain access into international fish trade market.
The minister also said that Nigeria is still open to investors who may be interested in investing in development of marine cage culture for fish production, an aspect that remains largely unexploited but has high potential return on investment.